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Letter: Stuck in the Past

To The Editor:

Not quite a New Year’s resolution, but being old has allowed me to reflect on how unchanging technology used to be until it changed.  Now those changes are happening so frequently that we can be caught thinking we are up to date. 

Recognizing your information might be old must be accompanied by a willingness to do something to change that.

In our current era of alternate energy systems and energy storage, the use of information from even a year ago may have us stuck in the past.  Often in discussions about these transitions is the push back that cost is too high or that related carbon footprint is worse than what is currently used. 

The notion that any alternative must be free of any negative aspects is probably an unrealistic expectation, although need to be considered.

Related to some of these energy alternatives is how to store some of that energy for later use and again the possible negative aspects are often supported by old information.  Batteries receive a lot of criticism whether for small scale application such as with electronic devices or electric vehicles. 

Similarly for grid scale applications.

Although lithium ion is currently the major player in battery storage, it is not the only technology.  The research and development in battery and energy storage systems is evolving at a rapid pace.  When checking your data base from one to five years ago you may not find references to: graphene energy storage, structural batteries, liquid air batteries, CO2 batteries, hydrogen energy storage in ammonia, redox flow batteries or gravity energy storage. 

Yes, a willingness to try keeping up to date on so many things requires a certain time commitment. 

Relying on old information requires no commitment but may lead to embarrassment.

Ron Robinson, Nelson, BC